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Revealing investigations. Fascinating characters. Stories with impact. Don't miss an all new CNN Presents this Sunday at 8:00 pm ET.
April 2nd, 2012
03:24 AM ET

The Scary Guy

He's a former tattoo artist who commands tens of thousands of dollars to speak to schoolchildren worldwide in the name of bullying prevention. While his tattooed face and outrageous tactics may capture the hearts and minds of kids, critics question whether he has a lasting impact.

CNN's Randi Kaye visits two Minnesota schools – one hoping the twenty thousand dollars the community paid Scary will help them solve the bullying problem, the other going a different route after a Scary experience.

The Scary Guy re-airs on CNN Presents this Saturday at 8:00 pm ET, 11:00 pm and 2:00 am ET.

Filed under: bullying • Randi Kaye
March 23rd, 2012
03:51 PM ET

Refund Robbery

Law enforcement says it's one of the biggest, most brazen crimes in the U.S. – criminals stealing your tax refund by stealing your identity, going online, and getting the refund money. Police even call it the new "crack cocaine of crime," and in some Florida neighborhoods, it's actually replaced street level drug dealing. Police officials and the Tampa mayor blame the IRS because it allows the refunds to be put on debit cards, and sends out the return before completely checking the information.

For the first time, our investigation shows the fraud as it's happening on the streets of North Miami Beach and Tampa, Florida, we interview two police detectives who are themselves victims, and talk to a police informant who teaches people how to do tax refund fraud. In an exclusive interview, the IRS deputy commissioner says it's a "balancing act" to get the returns out fast to legitimate taxpayers and keep fraudulent ones from going to criminals. The IRS has identified $6.5 billion in ID-related tax refund fraud last year, but does not know how much was going undetected.

"Refund Robbery" is one of four riveting stories you won't want to miss this Sunday on CNN Presents at 8:00 pm ET, replaying at 11:00 pm ET and 2:00 am ET

Filed under: Randi Kaye • refund robbery
CNN Presents: Death of a Diva
February 16th, 2012
03:04 PM ET

CNN Presents: Death of a Diva

She will be remembered as one of the greatest voices of her generation. And many of her closest friends say the troubled star was poised to make a comeback. But that comeback was tragically cut short with her untimely death. Whitney Houston’s soaring talent was shadowed by her struggles with addiction and marriage.

In a special investigation, CNN's Don Lemon looks at her rise to fame, her fall from superstardom, and the final hours in her troubled life.

Three in-depth stories in one riveting hour hosted by CNN's Randi Kaye and Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

CNN Presents premieres an all-new show this Saturday at 8pm ET, re-airing at 11:00 pm ET, 2:00 am ET and the same times on Sunday.

Filed under: Don Lemon • Dr. Sanjay Gupta • Randi Kaye • Whitney Houston
September 20th, 2011
12:19 PM ET

Trial begins for second Connecticut home invasion defendant

A second defendant went on trial Monday in connection with a brutal 2007 Connecticu thome invasion that left a woman and her two daughters dead.

Joshua Komisarjevsky, 31, faces 17 charges in the incident, including three counts of murder, four counts of kidnapping, burglary, arson and assault.

Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters - 17-year-old Hayley Petit and 11-year-old Michaela Petit - died in the July 23, 2007, invasion of their Cheshire, Connecticut, home.

Steven Hayes, the first defendant to stand trial, was sentenced to die in December 2010 after a jury convicted him on 16 of the 17 charges.

Prosecutors allege that Hayes and Komisarjevsky went into the Petit home, beat and tied up Dr. William Petit, raped and strangled his wife, molested one of their daughters and set the house on fire before attempting to flee.
The two daughters, who were both tied to their beds, died of smoke inhalation. William Petit managed to escape.

Before assaulting and killing Hawke-Petit, Hayes forced her to go to a bank and withdraw $15,000 from an account after finding evidence the account held between $20,000 and $30,000, authorities said.

Prosecutors allege that Hayes and Komisarjevsky went into the Petit home, beat and tied up Dr. William Petit, raped and strangled his wife, molested one of their daughters and set the house on fire before attempting to flee.

While he didn't present a comprehensive statement, New Haven State's Attorney Michael Dearington briefly spoke to jurors, explaining that prosecutors believe the jury will be able to listen to the evidence and render a decision. Under the law, Dearington said, Komisarjevsky is charged both as a principal and an accessory.

Komisarjevsky's defense attorney, Walter Bansley, told jurors that his client never intended to kill anyone, that his sole purpose in breaking into the Petit home was to steal.

Bansley said Komisarjevsky did not have a weapon. He told jurors that in order to convict Komisarjevsky of capital murder, they must determine he intended to kill someone.

It was Hayes, Bansley said, who raped and strangled Jennifer Hawke-Petit, poured the gasoline and lit the match. Komisarjevsky was a willing participant in the break-in and theft, but not the murders, according to Bansley, who recounted mounting dissension between Hayes and Komisarjevsky as the home invasion progressed through that morning.

Hayes felt the Petits needed to be killed, Bansley claimed, but Komisarjevsky refused to kill anyone.

CNN’s Randi Kaye digs into the tragic events of the home invasion for CNN Presents:  “Pure Evil: The killings in Connecticut.”